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Spirála Theatre

Zbyšek Stýblo, Jindřich Smetana, Jan Louda, Tomáš Kulík

history of the theatresupplementtechnical dataHistoric equipment

Important events

(detail)1992 | Opening

Construction was realized on disposition of circular cinema according the designs by Jindřich Smetana, Jan Louda, Tomáš Kulík and Zdeněk Stýblo.


(detail)2002 | Closing
Flood destroyed the theatre, which does not operate since then.

People

(detail)Zbyšek Stýblo |main architect

Member of GAMA architectural studio.


(detail)Jindřich Smetana |main architect

He graduated on Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague in 1979 by professor  Josef Svoboda, with whom he cooperated in the National Theatre – Laterna Magica. Apart stage designing, exhibitions and audiovisual art, he is involved in building of culture structures in architecture. He realized the design of Prague theatre Spirála (1991) with atelier LO-TECH in the field of theatre architecture. In joint authorship with Tomáš  Kulík, he realized the theatre Alfred in the Courtyard (1997), Globe (1999), Multimedia Cyber Dome Estrella (design 1998) and other projects.

In:

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(detail)Jan Louda |main architect

Member of GAMA architectural studio.


(detail)Tomáš Kulík |main architect

Contemporary Czech architect. He works in ANIMA- TECH project association.

More theatres

Jiří Polidar |architect
Vladimír Janata |architect
T. Pačes |architect

History

Within an extensive exhibition project of the Jubilee Exhibition, organised on Prague Výstaviště (Exhibition grounds) in 1991,  generous reconstruction of the former panoramic Kruhové kino (Circle Cinema) was carried out for a new theatre stage. Společnost Jubilejní výstavy (Jubilee Exhibition Company) was the investor and Jindřich Smetana, Jan Louda, Tomáš Kulík and Zdeněk Stýblo were the authors of the architectural solution. Statics of a concrete construction was supplied by T. Pačes and V. Janata from EXCON Company. B. Michailov and J. Polidar designed theatre technology. The building was awarded by the honorary appreciation of PQ 1991 and in 1993 by the Grand Prix of Architects´ Chambre in the category Reconstruction.

In 2002, Prague district, especially below located Výstaviště area, was hit by flood that fundamentally damaged the buildings located in the lower part of the park. Výstaviště operator, company Incheba, have not invested subsequently in theatre reconstruction, therefore the building decays continuously and it is out of order in the long term as the other buildings in the given locality, designed for culture purposes.

The entire theatre building consists of two basic parts: a massive black cylinder and on the outside almost invisible utility spaces. Whereas predominant capacity of the cylinder incorporates in itself an untraditionally composed stage and auditorium, the background of the theatre feathers almost submissively away under the surface of aggregated soil and so it emphasizes the centre of theatre volume. A helical platform  is the supporting constituent of interior arrangement, the name of the theatre is derived from it.

Although the circle ground plan was a determining residue from the former cinema building, it became an inspiring point of departure for a new configuration of stage space. The volume of the cylinder was constructed through the use of structural steelwork, on which other steel grids are superimposed as an enclosing shell, thus imparting a considerably industrial character to the building. Metallic structure and texture enable a more independent approach to potential utilization of a facade perimeter as an extended layer of performance space. The visitors are led into the interior by four reciprocally intermeshed ramps to a spiral of visitor´s seats lines, which can embrace the stage with central focus from five up to eight levels (with capacity of roughly 800 spectators). Similar communication of escape spiral staircases systems is applied outwards of the outer shell. A vertical tendency of the interior is round off by the location of a main projection cabin into the top of the gridiron, hereby the possibility of multimedia projection is secured even in the downwards direction. Specific conception of the stage and auditorium requires adequately experimental stage design and dramatic approach.

Attached theatre services are located approximately into two wings of L letter and thus they are affiliated by two sides to the central cylindrical volume. Their accessory character in relation to the central space of the stage and auditorium is expressed not only by their submergence under terrain level, but by purely functional configuration of the space as well. Access to the theatre is directed by setdown of the platform under surrounding surface. The visitor is confronted there with a massive steel gate that grants him entering into the other world after opening.

Employed sources and literature :

- Osobní archiv Jindřicha Smetany

- Grand Prix a cena v kategorii Rekonstrukce, Architekt XL, 1994, s. 3.

- Hilmera, Jiří: Česká divadelní architektura. Praha 1999, s. 173, 176, 292, 303.

- Klíma, Karel: Divadlo Spirála, Pyramida a Globe na Výstavišti – Praha, Stavba VII, 2000, č. 6, s. 60.

- Svoboda, Jan, E. & Noll, Jindřich: Praha 1945-2003, Kapitoly z poválečné a současné architektury. Praha 2006, s. 207, 329.

- Kratochvíl, Petr: Architektura 1989-2000. Obnova disciplíny, in: Švácha, Rostislav & Platovská, Marie: Dějiny českého výtvarného umění 1958-2000 VI/2. Praha 2007, s. 892.

 

Tags: Contemporary era, detached building, Postmodern architecture

 

Author: Vendula Hnídková

Translator: Jan Purkert

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